Chef John Benjamin of the four-star Restaurant Latour will offer a gourmand Easter meal showcases the best of spring ingredients: spring garlic, ramps, white asparagus, quail eggs and more. Quail eggs come in an edible (crispy potato) nest with fennel pollen, followed by White Asparagus puree with langoustine, green almonds and wild ramps, then Valley Shepherd Ricotta Gnocchi with the prized Ibérico ham, porcini and spring garlic cream. The centerpiece of the menu is the resort’s own Rifle Ranch Lamb Ribeye with lamb sweetbread Yorkshire pudding and baby vegetables, followed by a Chocolate Strawberry duo with berry “caviar” for dessert. The 5-course menu is $95, wine pairings additional $35, served from 1pm – 6pm on Easter Sunday March 31.
The full menu with wine pairings is below. Latour’s lamb comes from the resort’s own Rifle Ranch in Colorado, which they have owned for more than 30 years. Rifle Ranch raises a flock of lamb that range freely on 7,000 acres of grassy pastures in the Rocky Mountains for the resort’s exclusive use.
EVO Poached Quail Eggs, Spring Green Salad “Nicoise Style”, Fennel Pollen
Viura, Finca Antigua, Spain, 2010
White Asparagus Puree
Langoustine, Green Almonds, Wild Ramps
Valley Shepherd Ricotta Gnocchi
Ibérico Ham, Porcini Mushroom, Spring Garlic Cream
Pinot Noir, Mercurey, Burgundy, France, 2009
Cast Iron Rifle Ranch Lamb Ribeye
Lamb Sweetbread Yorkshire Pudding, Petit Vegetable Ragout, Mustard Seed
Sangiovese, Tempo, Morellino di Scansano, Italy, 2006
Strawberry Parfait, Berry Caviar, Valrhona Chocolate Tartlet, Cocoa Nib Mousse
Moscato di Asti, La Spinetta, Biancospino, Italy, 2012
New to the helm of Crystal Springs Resort, Executive Chef Timothy Fischer has designed his first Easter menu for Crystal Tavern (Grand Cascades Lodge, One Wild Turkey Way, Hamburg NJ, 973-827-5996 Ext. 3, website, Twitter @CrystalSprings) with spring in mind.
Hailing from Minnesota and coming to Crystal Springs from the Hotel Donaldson in Fargo, ND (where he was a James Beard award semi-finalist for Best Chef Midwest), Chef Fischer is a forager and a big proponent of farm-to-table approach to cuisine. His Easter menu begins with a salad of one of first spring ingredients: fiddle head ferns with a vinaigrette of another harbinger of spring – ramps – and dressed up for the occasion with luxuriously shaved truffles. The main course will offer a choice of Crystal Springs own lamb raised for the resort on Rifle Ranch in Colorado – the herb roasted leg of lamb will be accompanied by a spring vegetable gratin and elephant garlic jus or Jumbo Sea Scallops with micro sorrel, grilled fennel and early season baby corn. Strawberry cheesecake with rhubarb compote will complete the delicious meal.
Next up is Chakra restaurant (W. 144 Rte 4 in Paramus, 201-556-1530, www.chakrarestaurant.com, Twitter @ChakraNJ) who will be serving a family-friendly $34 three course Easter feast on March 31, from 12 noon until 5pm, with a la carte children’s menu.
Among the myriad options offered by Executive Chef Thomas Ciszak, guests will find dishes such as spring White and Green Asparagus Salad, Lobster Bisque with Tarragon Chantilly, and Peanut Daquoise with Caramelized Bananas.
Chakra’s Easter Brunch menu:
FIRST COURSE choice of:
Tarragon Chantilly, Cognac Poached Maine Lobster
Romaine Hearts, Lemon Confit, White Anchovies
Fine Herbs, White Balsamic Vinaigrette
White and Green Asparagus Salad
Gravlax, Warm Dill Vinaigrette
Roasted Beets and Smoked Duck
Fennel, Oranges, Fennel Pollen
Horseradish Crusted Crab Cake supplement $6
Snow Pea Shoots, Mustard Seed Vinaigrette
Spring Mushroom Consommé, Parmesan Foam
Grilled Marinated Tofu
Bok Choy, Coconut-Pumpkin Broth
MAIN COURSE choice of:
Stuffed Baked Maine Lobster
Slow Roasted Tomatoes, Eggplant, Herb de Provence, Mesclun Greens
Chili-Cinnamon Glazed Chilean Sea Bass supplement $8
Potato Wrapped Shrimp, Bok Choy, Lemongrass Nage
Goffle Road Chicken
Pork Tenderloin and Maple-Anisette Pork Belly
Cumin Carrot Puree, Fennel Salad
Roast of Leg of Lamb For Two
Potato Gratin, Grilled Mediterranean Vegetables, au jus
Filet Mignon of Beef supplement $8
soubise, pickled spring mushrooms
Vegetarian Eggplant Tarte
Sacred Chow Tofu, Tomato Bell Pepper Coulis
DESSERT choice of:
Warm Chocolate Brioche Bread Pudding
Macerated Berries, Vanilla Ice Cream
Caramelized Bananas, Jivara Milk Chocolate, Hawaiian Sea Salt
Green Tea Cake, Passion Fruit Ice Cream, Coconut Meringue, Lemongrass Sauce
And last, but certainly not least, Blue Morel at the Westin Governor Morris in Morristown (2 Whippany Road, 973-451-2619, http://www.bluemorel.com, Twitter @BlueMorel) will offer a 3-course menu (with multiple options) on Easter Sunday, March 31 from 12 Noon until 9pm.
Guests will be choosing from many options offered by Executive Chef Kevin Takafuji, including Whole Lobster Cobb, Coffee Braised Lamb Shank, Warm Chocolate Brioche Pudding and a Housemade “Oreo” with panna cotta and dulce de leche. The menu is $59 for adults, $29 for children under 12 – a la carte children’s menu will also be available).